News & Articles

White House Planning Executive Order Prohibiting Discrimination by Federal Contractors on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Published on April 27, 2014

By Teru Olsen

With the lack of Congressional action to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Obama administration recently announced it will prepare executive orders prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The executive order is expected to be prepared and signed in the coming weeks. Many organizations have requested the President include a religious exemption for not-for profit faith-based organizations. The scope of the final order is yet undetermined, and the White House has not issued any formal comment regarding a religious exemption.

Washington State already recognizes sexual orientation/gender identity as a protected class, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. A majority of states, however, do not have laws protecting employees against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

For more information on workplace discrimination, please contact any member of the Employment Rights, Benefits and Labor Group at Ryan Swanson.

Teru Olsen is an attorney at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC and can be reached at 206.326.5736 or

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This message has been created by the Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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